Tibau do Sul – Praia da Pipa
An example of sustainability and environmental preservation
Why visit Tibau do Sul
Tibau do Sul is located on the coast of the state of Rio Grande do Norte, 77 kilometers south of Natal, the capital, where the famous Praia da Pipa, internationally known for its surfing, is located.
Much of the coastline of Pipa and Tibau do Sul is an Environmental Protection Area , under the responsibility of the Brazilian Environment Institute of Rio Grande do Norte.
The beaches of Tibau do Sul are extremely diverse, suitable for all styles and activities. There are beaches with or without cliffs, with calm waters perfect for swimming or rough waters great for surfing. The strong winds are also good for sailing and kite surfing, and there are many natural pools and small bays where you can see dolphins and sea turtles.
Culture & Local Life
Tibau do Sul is a municipality in the Brazilian Northeast coast with a little less than 15 thousand inhabitants. It is known mainly for its most famous beach, Praia da Pipa. Tourism in Pipa (and in Tibau) started to develop in the 1970s, when groups of surfers started to come to Pipa more and more often. Today, the economy of Tibau do Sul is mainly driven by tourism, and Pipa is undoubtedly one of the most cosmopolitan beaches in Brazil.
Because of this cultural diversity, Pipa has great cultural and artistic expression, with workshops in painting, sculpture, ceramics, lace, handicrafts, reading and poetry groups. In addition, Tibau do Sul and Pipa have numerous cultural events throughout the year (fairs, exhibitions, Carnival, festivals etc.), in addition to a strong sports tradition.
© Preserve Pipa
Tibau do Sul is located in the Brazilian Northeast, on the south coast of Rio Grande do Norte, between two important capitals: Natal (80 km away, northbound) and João Pessoa (140 km away, southbound). In these two capitals are the nearest international airports. The main access roads are BR-101 and RN-003. See more details on how to get to Tibau do Sul and Praia da Pipa here.
The transfer between Praia da Pipa and Tibau do Sul (a 9 km route) can be done easily by public transport (vans, not buses). It is also possible to stop at other beaches along the way. Other options are renting a car, getting around by taxi or renting bikes! Both in the center of Tibau do Sul and Praia da Pipa, however, no transport is necessary, just visiting on foot.
Nature & Wildlife
Tibau do Sul is a privileged place due to its great environmental diversity. Located in the Atlantic Forest, it has forests, mangroves, lagoons, dunes and paradisiacal beaches. In addition, Tibau do Sul is an Environmental Protection Area (APA) under the responsibility of the Brazilian Environment Institute.
Among the animals that inhabit the region are: sea turtles, dolphins, iguanas, marmosets, timbus, bem-te-vis, hummingbirds, herons and thrushes. Watch this video and see these species in their natural habitat in Tibau do Sul.
The Ecological Sanctuary forest has approximately 800 thousand specimens of woody plants, in addition to countless rare and perhaps even unknown species! Recently, a new species of papaya was identified, as well as a new species of bird, the Chorozinho-da-Caatingaas.
© Projeto TAMAR
The vision of our destination for the next five years is “excellence in the organization of tourism, harmonizing environmental sustainability and responsible tourism”. We are committed to adopting conscious consumption habits and encouraging people and companies to improve the current environment. The harmony between development and the protection of natural resources is necessary to attract an increasingly conscious and responsible tourist to our area. Our initiatives include laws that prohibit the use of plastic straws, the control of the number of boats in the lagoon, and the use of biodegradable cutlery holders, napkins and amenities in hotels and restaurants.
Health & Safety
The immediate action of the government of Tibau do Sul in relation to Covid-19 has granted it a Good Practice Story (click on the button Read more in the next column) and recognition by the WTTC – World Travel & Tourism Council – as a safe destination, being able to use the Safe Travels seal in promoting the municipality. The main factors of success in tackling the pandemic in Tibau do Sul were: a joint decision between the government, the private sector and the community; psychological support for health professionals and social workers; and the creation of effective preventive and educational measures. In addition, the municipality donated food and double layer fabric masks to 3,000 people who were without work due to the pandemic.
História de Boa Prática
Tibau do Sul has submitted so far a Good Practice Stories, this story with regard to the “Environment & Climate” of the Guarairas Lagoon – old ecosystem of the freshwater lagoon. Today being home to seahorses, dolphins, mere, many herons and birds of all types, in addition to having also gained mangrove vegetation. The area of the tributaries of the Guaraíras basin, since we can hydrographically call it that, since 1999, it has been named an environmental protection area (APA – in Portuguese acronym). Find out more in the button below or in the travel tips section.
Travel tips from our editors
Tibau do Sul has numerous cultural traditions. A very important one is the Drama de Pipa, a theater sung by women who began to stage their daily lives by representing female characters. Another tradition is Coco de Zambê, a dance accompanied by types of drums called “zambê” and “chamá”. Only men participate in this dance and their movements resemble capoeira, afoxé and frevo.
Pipa’s Ecofair started in 2014 with the aim of gathering and presenting to the community agroecological and artisanal products available in the region. The fair also seeks to encourage meeting spaces and the exchange of ideas on healthy eating, organic agriculture, responsible consumption and sustainability. Don’t forget to take your ecobag!
Beaches of Tibau
What Tibau do Sul does not lack are beautiful beaches to visit. Among them are: Sibaúma (a village originated from an old quilombo); the Dolphins Bay (where, as the name suggests, the chances of seeing dolphins are higher); Cacimbinhas (with its soft white sand, and great panoramic view of the coast); Praia do Giz and Praia do Amor (great for surfers); and Praia do Madeiro, with its beautiful coconut trees. See the full list of beaches here.
Trekking in the sanctuary
The Ecological Sanctuary of Pipa is a place for environmental preservation and controlled reintroduction of wild animals to their natural habitat. The sanctuary has 14 trails open to the public, each with different objectives, attractions and degrees of difficulty. Also, a flight of stairs of 150 steps gives you access to the beautiful Praia do Madeiro.
Sabores de Pipa
The Sabores da Pipa Gastronomic Festival brings the concept of Km 0 gastronomy, that is, cuisine based on local food, which is as close as possible to the consumer. The initiative aims to unite and strengthen the entire gastronomic chain of the destination, valuing what is local, from people to products. Stay tuned to the next editions of this event!
The Tamar Project monitors 33km of beaches in Rio Grande do Norte, including in Tibau do Sul. In each reproductive season, from October to May, Tamar registers around 550 sea turtle nests, generating more than 40,000 hatchlings. Tourists can follow the opening of turtle nests (by appointment). At the Pipa Ecological Sanctuary, a permanent exhibition on turtles with samples of shells and skeletons is available to visitors.
Sports and activities
Tibau do Sul and Pipa Beach are the perfect places for anyone who loves nature-based adventure and sports. Options include surfing, paragliding, kayaking, sandboarding, hiking, kite surfing, stand-up paddle, jiu jitsu and even capoeira. See more here. We also recommend renting a bicycle and following one of the four routes available. They vary from 7 to 14km, and their level of difficulty is low. Other possible activities are zip-lining, boat rides, renting a buggy or a quad, and the beach train ride.
Pipa’s downtown comes to life especially at night. As you stroll along the cozy cobbled streets, you will find several bars and restaurants with warm decor and smells and flavors of the local cuisine. Likewise, the shops represent the region very well, its art and local products, so be sure to take the time to get to know Pipa’s nightlife.
Tibau do Sul and Praia da Pipa were selected
in the 2020 and 2021 Top 100 Sustainable Destinations
Tibau do Sul and Praia da Pipa received the Green Destinations Silver Award in 2020
Tibau do Sul has just received third place in the category Climate and Environment in the 2021 Green Destinations Story Awards
Tourism expert | Tourism Board of Tibau do Sul
“It is a huge satisfaction and also a big surprise for us to receive this international certification, the Green Destinations Silver Award. We see this as a recognition of the good practices that we have been working on and that have made us a mature destination, leading the sustainability process in the national tourism sector. Pipa is just beginning. This is the starting point of what we want for the destination and we will certainly be able to help other municipalities with our model and philosophy, which is to plan and execute together with the stakeholders, civil society and the community. "